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Editing the reactive genome: towards a postgenomic ethics of germline editing

Guttinger, Stephan ORCID: 0000-0001-9448-973X (2020) Editing the reactive genome: towards a postgenomic ethics of germline editing. Journal of Applied Philosophy, 37 (1). 58 - 72. ISSN 0264-3758

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Identification Number: 10.1111/japp.12367


The reported birth of genetically modified twins in late 2018 has given new fuel to debates about the ethics of germline genome editing (GGE). There is a broad consensus among stakeholders that clinical uses of GGE should be temporarily banned as the technology is not yet deemed safe for use in humans. However, the idea of a complete ban is dismissed by many based on the expectation that more research will eventually allow scientists to make the technology safe without having to put humans at risk first. In this article, I will analyse this assumption and argue that it is undermined by recent developments in the postgenomic life sciences. In particular, I will argue that in a postgenomic view of germline editing a complete ban on specific uses of the technology is warranted, because the research needed to assess the safety of these interventions would not be morally defensible.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2019 Society for Applied Philosophy
Divisions: CPNSS
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > B Philosophy (General)
Date Deposited: 30 Jul 2019 17:24
Last Modified: 06 Apr 2024 18:39

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